Highlands bowl, commonly referred to as “The Bowl,” is for expert skiers and snowboarders. If it is your first time you should go with someone who knows the area. Just off of Deep Temerity lift is where you start your ascent to 13,000 feet.
Step One: Pile into the back of a snowcat that will bring you part of the distance. There are people who opt out of this option and choose to walk the entire distance. These are the hardcore people that will catch up to you and then pass you while you are walking up.
Step Two: Once the cat drops you off, start your 30-to-45-minute trudge to the top. There are areas to drop in before but I highly recommend going the distance. On a crowded day you can look up at the trail ahead and it looks like ants marching in formation.
Step Three: After the lung-busting hike to the top, enjoy the fun social setting with people giving high fives, taking pictures, and cracking open a beer. Take a load off and sit in the two-seat solitary chairlift with Tibetan flags strung from it facing one of the best views, the Maroon Bells.
Step Four: Start the descent. Any direction is a good one because you are in the face of the bowl with wide-open trails. Powder days are epic in the Bowl, with face shots on every turn. For this reason you don't go alone because it is essentially backcountry skiing and can be dangerous.